The Real Deal Miami

Miami retail market stable, for now

By Jovana Rizzo | June 24, 2008 12:47PM

Despite rocky waters in Miami-Dade’s residential market, retail
properties there remain strong and vacancy rates haven’t risen,
especially in tourist areas like Miami Beach, according
to a recently released Marcus & Millichap report.

Asking rents rose 4.4 percent from last year to $24.72 per square foot in
the first quarter. The report projects a 2.5 percent increase by the end of this
year, to $24.89 per square foot.

The first quarter’s
retail vacancy rate was 5 percent, 10 basis points less than the first
quarter last year, and down 20 basis points from the previous quarter.

Marcus & Millichap
expects Miami-Dade’s retail vacancy to rise to 5.4 percent in 2008,
although the report predicts that tourist areas will be less affected
by declines in resident traffic than other neighborhoods.

The county saw a 3
percent increase in visitor volume this year, sparked by foreign
travelers taking advantage of the weak U.S. dollar. Money from abroad
is helping to support retail in tourist areas, and is also boosting
employment.

The report predicts 1,500
more jobs will be created this year — a 0.1 percent increase from the
current employment. Educational and health services, as well as firms
tied to foreign economies, are expected to lead the job growth. The
1,500 jobs, however, is a decline from the 6,000 new positions created
in 2007.